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Congressman Calls On Nuclear Regulators To Broaden Security Reviews

A senior Democratic member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is calling on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to expand its current review of security concerns at nuclear power plants to more thoroughly consider risks at nuclear fuel pools and decommissioned facilities.

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State Utility Regulators Back Federal Multi-Pollutant Controls On Power Plants

A national group of state utility regulators has adopted a policy statement endorsing federal legislation to control "all emissions" from power plants. The move has attracted the strong support of environmentalists who have been pushing tighter controls on pollutants traditionally regulated by the Clean Air Act, as well as first-time limits on greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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Autoworkers, Environmentalists Launch Negotiations On Fuel Economy Standards


Environmentalists and autoworkers have begun negotiations aimed at forging a compromise on boosting federal fuel economy standards. Environmentalists entered the discussions after labor groups were generally credited with helping House lawmakers approve an energy plan earlier this year that includes relatively modest increases in fuel efficiency requirements.

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Shipbuilders Refute Oil Industry Claims About Jobs From ANWR Drilling

The American Shipbuilding Association (ASA) is challenging the findings of a study by the oil industry, which claims drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) will create thousands of jobs for the shipbuilding industry. An ASA official says the most likely scenario is that zero shipbuilding jobs will be created if oil is pumped out of ANWR.

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EPA Approves Cooling Water Intake Rule After First-Time Analysis Of Energy Impacts


In its first formal use of a Bush administration policy requiring an analysis of a rule's energy impacts, EPA officials have approved a Clean Water Act rule for cooling water intake systems for new power plants after finding the rule will have no significant bearing on the nation's energy supply.

But future phases of the rule, dealing with existing facilities, may present a more difficult challenge, as the agency is more likely to find energy impacts.

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Sen. Murkowski Threatens Filibuster To Push GOP-Backed Energy Bill


The Senate energy committee's senior Republican, Frank Murkowski (R-AK), has threatened to filibuster key legislation that Democratic leaders plan to push through in the remaining weeks of this year's legislative session unless the Senate is allowed to vote on a GOP-backed energy plan. The threat elevates a long-standing dispute between Murkowski and the leadership over an energy package that includes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which is opposed by environmentalists and senior Democrats.

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Investigation Findings Aid Critics Of Proposed National Nuclear Waste Dump


Senate Majority Whip Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nevada officials have jumped on the recent findings of a Department of Energy (DOE) investigation in an attempt to block the construction of a national nuclear waste repository in the state. The investigation found potential conflicts of interest by a law firm hired by the department to assist with the review of the proposed facility, which critics of the waste repository say calls into question a decade's worth of work on the site.

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Refiners Eye Blending 100 Percent Of California Gasoline With Cleaner-Burning Oxygenates


Oil refiners in California say a recent decision by EPA to impose new smog-control requirements on the San Joaquin Valley will likely lead the industry to produce cleaner-burning reformulated gasoline that contains oxygenates for the entire state. The move would make California the first state in the country to run on 100 percent reformulated gasoline (RFG) that contains an oxygenate.

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Nevada Threatens Legal Challenge To DOE Criteria For Judging Safety Of Nuclear Waste Repository


Nevada is preparing to go court as part of its long-standing battle with the Department of Energy (DOE) over a proposed recommendation to build a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. State officials argue that the department's recently released criteria for reviewing the suitability of the proposed site are skewed to favor construction of the facility in the state.

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Activists Say Hydropower Dispute Illustrates Public Information Crackdown


Environmentalists say the Bush administration's recent denial of access to information regarding the relicensing of hydropower dams is an example of an anticipated crackdown on publicly available data in the face of heightened security concerns. The environmentalists are attempting to gain access to information relied upon by the administration in developing a streamlined relicensing proposal that would limit the role of EPA in reviewing environmental consequences of hydropower dams, indicating that the dispute may be resolved in court.

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